African countries are pushing tourism. Indaba, arguably the most African tourism fair, is dedicated to promoting tourism in African countries. It is the biggest gathering of Africa’s travel and tourism sector, uniquely designed with African travel trade in mind. Run by the South African government, the annual travel and tourism fair aims to be a premier business platform for African tourism exhibitors.

 

It is a South African trade show for the African continent. Indaba also offers tours to visitors and delegates of the trade fair allowing them to see South Africa and nearby countries. Exhibitors range from boutique tourism outlets to airlines to countries advertising their tourist attractions. Indaba also brings global tourism buyers interested in engaging in business with African.The Indaba 2016 was launched by South Africa’s Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom. It was attended by CNN news anchor and personality Richard Quest who hosted a Q&A session with stakeholders in the South African tourist sector.

 

 

Held in Durban, Indaba 2016 drew in exhibitors from 18 African countries including Kenya, Zambia, Benin, and Uganda. Pitch sessions on safaris and adventure travel were held. The trade fair called for greater cooperation between African countries to attract international visitors. There was the realization that, perhaps due to foreigners viewing Africa as a country, what happens in other African countries affects tourism in the others. For this reason, tourism ministers attending the conference promised to sell tourism as a continent.

 

Among the plethora of activities that took place during the trade fair, awards were given to the best stalls at the event. The Kenyan Tourism Board won the platinum award, while Rwanda Development Board claimed the gold award. The Uganda stall got the silver award. This year, Indaba particularly spotlighted small and medium enterprises in the tourism industry and the contributions they make. An award winning tradeshow, Indaba recently won the Exhibition and Event Association of Southern Africa’s (EXSA) Platinum Award in the Trade Show category.

 

Will coming together like Indaba suggests grow the numbers of international tourists in African countries? Should African countries be paying more attention towards encouraging tourism within the continent? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below or tweeting @rafeeeeta